Antimicrobial resistance refers to microbes’ ability to change and become less susceptible to drugs. The development of antimicrobial drugs (antibacterials [antibiotics], antivirals, antifungals and antiparasitics) to treat otherwise life-threatening infections has been one of the most notable medical achievements in human history. The growing problem of resistance has undermined antimicrobials’ effectiveness resulting in the loss of countless lives and placing public health and national security at serious risk. IDSA is working on several policy fronts to counter these “bad bugs” and to save lives.
IDSA promotes the establishment of antimicrobial stewardship programs and integration of good stewardship practices.
IDSA supports legislative and administrative efforts to strengthen the U.S. response to antimicrobial resistance including through enhanced coordination and leadership, surveillance, prevention and control, and research efforts.
Because of antibiotic resistance, many bacterial infections have become impossible to treat. New antibiotics are desperately needed to save patients' lives, but few new drugs are in pharmaceutical companies' research and development (R&D) pipelines. Low returns on investments and an unpredictable and often infeasible approval pathway at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have caused many companies to leave the antibiotics market. IDSA is working to counter this decline through the 10 x '20 Initiative. The initiative seeks a global commitment to create an antibiotic R&D enterprise powerful enough to produce 10 new systemic antibiotics by the year 2020. This effort has the potential to save thousands of lives each year. To achieve our goal, IDSA is working with a broad range of stakeholders in the United States and globally. We need your help!
Infectious diseases physicians, public health experts and others are greatly concerned about non-judicious uses of antibiotics in agriculture and particularly in food animals. The relationship between antibiotic-resistant infections in humans and antibiotic use in agriculture is complex, but well-documented. A large and compelling body of scientific evidence demonstrates that antibiotic use in agriculture contributes to the emergence of resistant bacteria and their spread to humans. IDSA is working to eliminate inappropriate uses of antibiotics in food animals and other aspects of agriculture and aquaculture. This includes ending the use of antibiotics for growth promotion, feed efficiency, and routine disease prevention purposes in food animals; requiring prescriptions and veterinary oversight of all antibiotics given to animals; and ensuring that antibiotic use in all animals, similar to human medicine, is carried out under the supervision of a veterinarian.
Many patients and their families have suffered the debilitating effects of antibiotic-resistant infections, and more and more patients are losing their lives due to these infections. These compelling and heart-wrenching stories engender a strong sense of urgency to address drug-resistant infections and the lack of new antibiotic development.